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SUPER BOWL XXXIII: DENVER BRONCOS VS. GREEN BAY PACKERS;
3:15 P.M., SUNDAY; TV: CHANNEL 4. RADIO: KNX (1070)
| Spin of the Day

You Have to Hand It to Them for Stories

January 20, 1998|T.J. SIMERS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SAN DIEGO — The press releases sit there, side-by-side, ignored by the press, a whole long wall of them in the Super Bowl media center, and yet there are reporters from all over the world searching for stories.

Well, that's not really true. There are reporters from all over the world wanting only to talk to this John Elway guy, as if he has the answer to world peace, firmly convinced that he is going to reveal his innermost confidential thoughts just to them.

And so, although an interesting and very important press release was available, announcing that "Sprung Monkey" had come to the Super Bowl, whatever Sprung Monkey was, it's gone now, and everyone with a notebook missed the story, and you the dedicated reader have been deprived.

It's true: You can read the New York Times and the Gaston Gazette, and there's not one word in there about Sprung Monkey. You can check with the Los Angeles Times reporter, who got beat on the Sprung Monkey story, too, but you will have to wait until he gets back from golfing.

Here's the problem--it's just criminal, the shoddy reporting job being done here. Today, from 8:30 to 10 a.m., "The Real Meaning of the O.J. Chase" will be made public at the Doubletree Hotel in Mission Valley as part of the NFL's "Pre-Super Bowl Scientific Congress," and do you know where most of your hometown scribblers will be?

They will be crowded around this Elway guy on media day at the stadium, asking him the same questions they asked Sunday night, and Monday night, the questions they will ask Wednesday and again Thursday, apparently just waiting for him to crack.

Down at the Doubletree, meanwhile, Geraldo will probably be the only reporter in attendance for "The Real Meaning of the O.J. Chase."

And yet, 15 minutes later in the same room, there will be a discussion on "Taking Another Look? What Plays Make Replays in American Football Telecasts?" And how many times have you gone to bed at night asking yourself that very question? But don't look for any answers in your morning paper because your hometown reporters will be rushing back to the media center to interview NBC's Dick Enberg, Paul Maguire and Phil Simms, available at 2 p.m. to comment on what John Elway has confided to them.

The real Super Bowl story just isn't getting out.

Did you know that supermodel Tyra Banks, and Amber Barretto and Caitlin Mowrey, the megastars from NBC's mega-hit "Hang Time," are a part of "Cheerleaders of Life?" It's right there in a Super Bowl press release.

Did you know that Sprint has used enough cable to wrap around Qualcomm Stadium 33 1/3 times, and that if you perform the best touchdown dance for Roger Craig at Moose McGillycuddys on Thursday, you will win a pair of tickets to see the Rolling Stones? And those are only the highlights of Sprint's 24-page press release, which packs more twists and turns than the best Sidney Sheldon novel.

Did you know that there's a Miller Lite NFL player of the year, which looking at his stomach probably rules out Gilbert Brown, and also a True Value NFL man of the year, which could very well be Gilbert Brown, since the Packers acquired him for $100 off waivers? All there in assorted press releases.

Did you know that Troy Sienkiewicz will be signing autographs? Did you know that Troy Sienkiewicz is a football player? Did you know he's not a very good football player? Could you pronounce Sienkiewicz? Of course you could if your hometown reporter read his press releases and called the NFL's Chris Widmaier (but how do you pronounce Widmaier?) and asked for more information.

There's a press release from "digigami," suggesting a way to keep your press stressless and offering healing massages from the Circle of Friends and Nalanda, which might be useful for the Los Angeles Times writer should his golf outings become too taxing.

There's a press release trumpeting the, "NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE SALUTE TO MOTOWN'S 40TH ANNIVERSARY IN THE ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL AND CELEBRITY CRUISES SUPERBOWL XXXII HALFTIME SPECTACULAR FEATURING BOYZ II MEN, SMOKEY ROBINSON, THE TEMPTATIONS, THE FOUR TOPS, QUEEN LATIFAH AND MARTHA REEVES AND THE VANDELLAS PRODUCED BY RADIO CITY PRODUCTIONS," but after such a dramatic beginning, who wants to read the small print?

Another release entitled: "Broncomania," provides the web site for the Barrell Man:

www.webdom.com/chof/clowns/lepr.html.

Word is, the clown will be happy to talk about Elway.

Although they're doing a lousy job of covering what's important, reporters cannot be blamed in all cases. Even if they read the press releases, they must choose Friday between a 1:30 news conference with Jewel at the stadium or a 1:30 news conference with Joe Gibbs at the media center. It's a tough one because the press releases do not indicate which one is providing hors d'oeuvres.

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